THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Dutch Queen Maxima will no doubt watch with mixed emotions as the Netherlands take on Argentina in Wednesday’s (July 9) World Cup semi-final, her loyalty split between her birth and adopted countries.
For the second time since her marriage to Dutch King Willem-Alexander in 2002, Maxima – born and bred in Buenos Aires – will look on as the Dutch Oranje play Argentina’s La Albiceleste.
Only this time the stakes – a ticket to Sunday’s (July 13) 2014 final at Rio de Janeiro’s mythic Maracana stadium – could not be higher,
A previous World Cup encounter in 2006 ended in a goalless draw, with both teams having already qualified for the next stage.
That result was a “great relief” it was reported at the time.
“Argentina’s results are important to me, but I’m Dutch,” Maxima said.
This week the RVD unequivocally told Agence France-Presse: “The Royal Family supports the Dutch team.”
A kingdom divided?
“The semi-final (on Wednesday) has special importance for the royal family,” Dutch popular broadsheet De Telegraaf wrote on the eve of the highly-anticipated clash in Sao Paulo.
But some Argentinian media has reported that the upcoming duel is “causing tension between the royal couple” while others are talking about a “kingdom divided”.
Social media users also teased the royals, with one posting on Twitter showing Maxima and Willem-Alexander turning their backs on each other in bed, looking visibly upset.
The picture is captioned: “At this time, at the palace in Wassenaar. #NEDARG”
Another tweet shows the palace half-painted orange, the other half painted in Argentina’s white and blue.
A third shows a shirtless Willem-Alexander sporting a “Holland” tattoo while standing next to Maxima, who has been body-painted in Argentinian colors.
“The royal couple is ready for the semi-finals” the picture’s caption reads.
On Wednesday night, Maxima will be “just another rival for most Argentinians,” Argentinian website contexto.com.arg suggested, while another said “Maxima Zorreguieta will bet on the Dutch.”
But Ariel Covarrubian, who owns an Argentinian restaurant in The Hague, maintains Maxima will root for Lionel Messi’s troops.
“No matter how much you love your new country, its always your country of birth that comes first,” he told the Algemeen Dagblad tabloid.
De Telegraaf took a more pragmatic view: “Whatever the result on Wednesday night, Maxima will have a team to support in the final.”
The future Dutch queen was only 7 during the infamous 1978 World Cup final clash between La Albiceleste and the Oranje, which Argentina won 3-1 in extra time.
Maxima Zorreguieta was born in Buenos Aires in 1971, where she spent her childhood before eventually marrying Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander in 2002.
Her marriage into Dutch royalty and her subsequent title was not without controversy.
Maxima’s father Jorge Zorreguieta was a minister in the bloody dictatorship of Jorge Videla that saw thousands of political opponents disappear in Argentina in the 1970s.
Videla’s dictatorship lasted from 1976 to 1981.
An investigation commissioned by the Dutch government later concluded that Maxima’s father probably knew something about the murders and torture under Videla’s rule, but was almost certainly not personally involved.
Zorreguieta is still being investigated but has never been prosecuted. – Rappler.com